Thursday, March 31, 2011

Saks Galleries is pleased to present Master Artists O&A Ivanov, Afternoon Reception and Salon April 2nd at 1:00pm

We have been blogging these past three weeks about "Living Artfully", how we as individuals view the beauty that surrounds us in our everyday lives. Yesterday, I had the privilege of listening to Olga and Aleksey Ivanov, while they were preparing a run through of this Saturday's reception and salon at Saks Galleries in Cherry Creek on the "History and Technique of Egg Tempera." starting at 1:00pm.

These two are first generation immigrants in America and like myself, have a unique sensibility to living in this country. We've had an option of choosing our country and because of that we embrace everything about it, never taking anything for granted. They call their lives in Russia, "a past life" experience. They fell in love while attending university in Moscow. Both were studying art history and technique of the masters from the Renaissance. It was, in Aleksey's broken English, "very difficult living this." Their lives, while challenging, were surrounded by elegant architecture, astonishing church frescoes, an abundance of masterful art and religious icons providing enough creativity to last two lifetimes.

The two lifetimes are Olga and Aleksey, who paint on the same canvas together, always. There are countless hours in the design of each painting before they even get to the stage of preparing the boards. They build their own panels, preparing it with marble gesso, carefully placing the linen where texture and smooth surface are needed. They break the yolk and mix with pigment in the traditional ways taught from their past lives. The work is tedious using tiny brush strokes. The details are mesmerizing, luminous and refreshing.

It's not just how the tempera is applied or the luminosity, it's the stories these two share with us. The intimacy of how each story unfolds. Every painting they have produced in the past five years, since I met them, I remember. Like the fairy tales or Greek myths we listened to as children, we remember. The work is "heady", but we don't have to have degrees in Mythology to enjoy the journey these two master artists take us on each
time they bring out the brushes.

The painting to the left is entitled, "Outside of Eden". Aleksey says of this particular work..."The “Thistle” has a reputation to be able to banish melancholy and has been the symbolic flower of Scotland since pre-Christian times.

In religious scripture, the thistle is a symbol of man's fall from grace. When Adam and Eve were cast away from the Garden of Eden they entered a wilderness where "thorns and thistles" grew.

Our painting "Outside of Eden" is a symbolic anthem for a gorgeous Colorado valley where we see graceful thistles every summer growing strong and naturally. We liken the time of year of when the thistle appear in the valley to what it must have looked like through Adam and Eve’s eyes outside of Eden. We wanted to show beauty of the real world as they would see it – through blooming, captivating thistle."

The painting to the right is entitled "Parrot Tulip." Olga says of the painting, ..."Parrot Tulip" was inspired by Botticelli's painting "Primavera", the young female symbolizes spring, beauty and blooming. This is a traditional concept of "Flora". The Parrot Tulip is our favorite flower and we paint her often. The decoration on the dress was followed from motifs of William Morrison. Silver and gold leaf were used for background."

We invite you to join us at Saks Galleries and experience the graceful works and humble words of Olga and Aleksey as they take us on a journey, a brief art history and demonstration utilizing the incredible egg! artfully, dejon austin malley

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